Penelope Fitzgerald’s wonderful Booker-nominated novel. This Penelope Fitzgerald’s second novel was her first to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It is set in a small East Anglian coastal town where Florence Green decides against polite but ruthless local opposition to open a bookshop. ‘She had a kind heart but that is not much use when it comes to the matter of self-preservation.’ Hardborough becomes a battleground as small towns so easily do. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done and as a result she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important but natural and even supernatural forces too. This is a story for anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice.